Bannister’s Muster

Book Five


As a boy struggles to protect his kingdom, a dark enemy rises to end his family’s hope of reigning again.

Nathan Bannister thinks he’s finally mastered his magic. But that doesn’t do him much good when he loses his magical knife to the enemy. He’s terrified his rivals will use it against him.

Granny get’s involved, but things go from bad to worse when Lashtang’s biggest enemy escapes from prison. Knowing he needs help, Nathan turns to some of England’s old kings, as his enemies bring back the dead. But in the end Nathen realises that only he and Poppy can make things right.

Can Nathan reclaim his magic knife and the throne, or will his final battle end in tragedy?

Leapfrog is the fifth book in the Bannister’s Muster middle-grade fantasy series. If you and your child like enchanted worlds, unexpected twists and turns, and non-stop action, then you’ll love Barbara Gaskell Denvil’s stupendous caper.

Buy Leapfrog to jump into a world of magical thrills today!

A short excerpt from Chapter One

“It’s gone,” Nathan said, going cold.  

John sat glum, his elbows on his knees, and his chin in his hands. “I know,” he said, without asking what it was that had gone.

“I searched the floor,” said Nathan, marching over to stand in front of John. “I could just have dropped it. It feels like sort of part of me, as if it’s glued on. It – it’s – a bit like a brother.”

Now John was holding his head as if he thought it might fall off, “I knows where tis,” he said, half mumbling. “I were watching, and I seen it all. Couldn’t do naught, couldn’t move, nor twitch nor hiccup. But I seen them hooked fingers and I knows it were Clebbester, I seen them long fingers into yer pocket.”.     

“You were awake?”

“Yeh,” John gulped, “but I were useless. Saw them black claws come from the window, all sneaky and dirty and ever so long. Like meat hooks.”  

“The fingers stole my knife?” Nathan was shocked, but he nodded. He should have guessed. “But I thought no one else could touch it.”

“Can still touch. But gets burned.” nodded John, squinting beneath his pounding headache.  “Reckon that monster don’t care ‘bout burning. I seen smoke. Little flames an’all. Sparks, smoke, the lot. But he took it.”

Flopping down on the large arm chair, Nathan stared up at the ceiling a moment. He said, “Without the Knife of Clarr, I don’t think I have any magic. I’m not the lord of anything. I’m not even an empole. I’m just a miserable kid who ought to go back to school.”

John shook his head and then wished he hadn’t. “It ain’t the proper moment to get proper sorry fer yerself,” he said. “You ain’t got a knife fer a bruvver, nor you ain’t got no school to go back to. We gotta tell yer mum and yer granny. Who knows. Maybe they flings their arms in the air like always, and back comes the knife. If that don’t work, then we gotta go to Clarr.”

Messina had been standing in the middle of the small room, and as usual when doing magic, her arms were in the air and her hands high above her head. But she sighed, lowered her arms, and smiled at John. “I tried to bring back the picture,” she said, “but it has been blocked. Whether this was Yaark, or whether it was Clebbester, the magic they have used is strong and I cannot unwind it. So, John, will you please tell me exactly what happened?”

Slumped in a large chair, Ninester was looking glum, “Whoever it was, they ate my cake,” he said. “My dad did magic like that. Making me hungry and stuff.”

The little puppy Smudge lowered his head, ears down in shame, but did not whimper. It was Irima, Ninester’s mother, who pointed silently at the puppy’s muzzle where spots of cream told their own tale. But Alfie, half whispering, said, “I reckon this is nasty business. If tis Clebbster, and it is, you can bet it is, being a nasty old man, then he’s crawled out of his cave to take over Lashtang after all. And he’s started here cos he knows exactly who we are. But he let you see everything, John. Why?  You couldn’t get up nor even speak, but you saw. So why you? What’s he got planned for you?”

Poppy gulped. “Perhaps he didn’t choose John for any special reason. He was the nearest, or something.”

“Black magicians don’t do nuffin wivout some mean reason,” decided John, agreeing with Alfie. “Don’t like this business none. Don’t like it at all.”